President Nana Akufo-Addo has pleaded with some MPs of his party, who are demanding Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s exit, to give his cousin some respite so he concludes the ongoing bailout talks with the IMF, which are likely to be concluded in about a month.
Reports trickling in from the presidency say that the president tabled the plea when he met the angry MPs over their demand at the Jubilee House on Tuesday evening.
Ghana is seeking a $3-billion extended credit facility from the Brettom Woods institution to restore her ailing eceonomy to good fortunes.
The majority caucus gave the president an ultimatum to dismiss Mr Ofori-Atta and the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Charles Adu Boahen, or they will boycott the 2023 budget hearing and other government businesses on the floor of parliament.
The caucus, led by spokesperson Andy Appiah Kubi, MP for Asante Akyem North, issued the ultimatum within the precincts of parliament on Tuesday, 25 October 2022 when the house resumed sitting after a long recess.
He told the parliamentary press corps: “We are members of the majority caucus of the parliament of Ghana and we, here so, present; represent a greater number of the said caucus.”
“My name is Andy Appiah Kubi and I am only here as the spokesperson for the majority group – without more”, he caveated.
Mr Appiah-Kubi continued: “We have had occasions to defend allegations of conflict of interest, lack of confidence [and] trust against the leadership of our finance ministry”, however, “the recent developments within our economy are of great concern to the greater majority of the members of our caucus and our constituents.”
We have made our grave concerns [known] to the president through the parliamentary leadership and the leadership of the party without any positive response,” he revealed.
“We are, by this medium, communicating our strong desire that the president change the minister of finance and the minister of state at the finance ministry, without further delay, to restore hope to the financial sector and reverse the downward trend in the growth of the economy”, the group demanded.
“The summary of our concerns lead to a plea that the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta and the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Charles Adu Boahen, be removed from office. We pray that this prayer would be carried to the presidency.”
The caucus then threatened: “Meanwhile, we want to serve notice, and notice is hereby served that until such persons, as aforementioned, are made to resign or removed from office, we, members of the majority caucus here in parliament, will not participate in any business of the government by or for the president by any other minister.”
“We hope that those of us at the backbench and members of the majority caucus will abide by this prayer,” the group added.
“We are saying that if our request is not responded to positively, we will not be present for the budget hearing nor will we participate in the debate”, Mr Appiah-Kubi stressed.
Also, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has demanded that President Akufo-Addo reassign Mr Ofori-Atta and Mr Adu-Boahen if he cannot dismiss them.
The pro-government pressure group said in a press statement that the two ministers are to blame for the poor performance of the Ghana cedi in relation to other international trade currencies.
“The Minister of Finance and the Minister of State at the Ministry, Ken Ofori Atta and Charles Adu Boahen, must be reassigned,” the group demanded.
AFAG’s demand comes a few days after media personality and comic Kwaku Sintim-Misa, alias KSM, asked Mr Ofori-Atta to resign.
He said this in a tweet where he claimed to be giving advice to Mr Ofori-Atta.